Making amigurumi critters should be fun. It's kind of the definition of fun. But many crocheters find that while they love the crocheting part, they get a little nervous when it's time to piece their little creatures together.
Sound familiar? We're here to help. Keep these five tips in mind as you crochet and sew, and your next amigurumi sesh will stay completely in the fun zone, right where it belongs.
Leave a Tail
If you leave long tails when you fasten off as you crochet, we guarantee that sewing will be easier later. The length of the tail will depend on the size of the seam you're going to sew. A small ear, for example, may need a long tail of only five to six inches. Be sure to leave extra for weaving in the ends!
Plan Before You Stitch
The biggest assembly problem? Not planning out where each part will go. Look at your amigurumi with all the parts in place before you start to stitch. Then attach the parts to the body using safety pins, T-pins or a locking stitch marker. The pattern will probably tell you where each limb and feature should go, but feel free to move them around to other spots if you're not happy with how they look. Your critter, your choice.
Stuff as You Sew
Amigurumi stuffing needs to be just right. If you under-stuff, your fluffy friend will be saggy. Over-stuff, and your critter won't be cuddly.
Stuffing as you crochet is one way to hit the sweet spot. This is especially true for narrow parts like arms or long noses. Plus, you can stuff all the way to bottom of each body part, be it an ear, nose or leg. Another option: Use a pencil, chopstick or the back of your hook to ease the stuffing into those tough-to-reach places, like a nose. Smoosh the part with your fingers to check if the stuffing feels okay or if you need more of it.
Line Up your Stitches
If the ear you just attached gets bunched up at the seam or doesn't lie flat against the body, it's a sure sign you didn't line up your stitches. The fix is to stitch evenly across the same row. If you're sewing a leg to the bottom of the body, say, stitch straight across the same row on the body.
Check Arms and Legs Together
Sometimes the legs looked exactly the same when you stitch them, but are lopsided once you stuff and sew them on. To avoid that #fail, stuff amigurumi arms and legs in pairs. Then compare arms with arms and legs with legs before sewing them to the body.
With some careful troubleshooting and plenty of "Awwwws," we promise you'll have your best amigurumi experience ever — start to finish.